Careful Caroling


For people who love to sing, caroling is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season and get a chance to show off some vocal skills at the same time.

Caroling has been a long time holiday tradition, but as the years go on the custom has slowly become less popular.

In a recent poll by 171 Carlmont students, only 16 percent of Carlmont students go caroling during the holidays; however most people say that they would go caroling if they knew how it was supposed to be done.

Caroling is an easy, festive holiday tradition that can be done in four simple steps.

First, get together a group of friends who love to sing and pick some songs that everyone knows,  for example “Frosty The Snowman” and “Let It Snow.”

Second, bake some fun holiday treats to hand out door to door.  Even wear your favorite holiday attire to add some spirit to the night.

Third, choose a safe walking route to go caroling, preferably around a good family neighborhood. Knock on doors after dinner time to avoid interrupting families eating, and be polite when the door is answered.  Announce your intentions so that the resident has the opportunity to decline or request that you sing from the sidewalk.  The elderly or infirm may want to listen through closed doors.

Fourth, sing a song that was agreed on( but not too loudly).  Then give them a holiday treat, say your farewells and go to the next house.

Caroling isn’t only done around the neighborhood. It can also be heard on Christmas Eve in your local church where you can go and sing with the rest of the community.

Caroling originated in the nineteenth century when church groups would entertain people by going around town singing.  This was done during the winter season to solicit money for their parish from those who may not have come to church due to the inclement weather.  It was also a festive way to take food, drinks, or gifts to the homebound.

The practice caught on quickly and soon spread beyond churches to the whole community where people of any religion can go out and sing holiday carols.

There are even professional carolers like “The Merrie Olde Christmas Carolers” who go about the Bay Area during the winter season to brighten the holidays for communities.

Here at Carlmont there are few who carol, but the ones who do enjoy it greatly, “I love caroling with my friends” said sophomore Emily Costello. “It’s one of my favorite holiday traditions.”

Carlmont’s Choir in the past has put on holiday sing-alongs where they dress up in holiday gear like elves or just a santa hat and sing traditional carols.

Using small instruments like sleigh bells, triangles, and tambourines adds an extra dimension to caroling and sounds great with carolers’ voices.

In the Greek tradition it is common for children to carol house to house while playing the triangle on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and  Epiphany Eve.  They sing traditional holiday folk songs called Kálanda. Greeks even have spring caroling to sing about the wonders of spring.

Caroling is celebrated in all parts of the world but is most popular in France, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, The Philippines, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Ukraine, and The United States.

Although these places differ from each other they can still share the joy of singing with family and friends wherever they go.